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In devastating seismic events, western Afghanistan has been left reeling from a powerful earthquake and its aftershocks. With the death toll tragically exceeding 2,000, this Afghanistan earthquake ranks as one of the deadliest earthquakes the country has endured in the last two decades.
It all began with a forceful magnitude-6.3 earthquake that struck the region, followed by several significant aftershocks. Afghanistan’s national disaster authority confirmed these tremors have resulted in many casualties.
According to Abdul Wahid Rayan, the Ministry of Information and Culture spokesperson, the situation in Herat is far graver than initially estimated. Approximately six villages have been obliterated, and hundreds of civilians desperately need immediate assistance lie beneath the debris.
Estimates of the casualties vary, with initial United Nations assessments suggesting 320 fatalities. However, this number is still being verified. Local authorities have provided an estimate of around 100 deaths and 500 injuries. Furthermore, reports indicate 465 houses were destroyed, with 135 others sustaining damage. The United Nations has expressed concerns that the number of casualties may rise as search and rescue operations continue, possibly uncovering more individuals trapped beneath collapsed structures.
The United States Geological Survey pinpointed the earthquake’s epicenter approximately 40 kilometers northwest of Herat. Subsequent strong aftershocks, including magnitudes of 6.3, 5.9, and 5.5, have compounded the distress. Residents of Herat city endured multiple powerful tremors, which triggered widespread fear and prompted many to evacuate their homes.
The World Health Organization in Afghanistan swiftly dispatched 12 ambulance cars to the affected area of Zenda Jan in Herat province, aiming to evacuate casualties and provide essential medical assistance. However, the disruption of telephone communication in Herat has made it challenging to gather comprehensive information from affected regions. Videos on social media depict hundreds of people taking to the streets, seeking refuge outside their homes and workplaces.
This tragic event comes from a powerful Afghanistan earthquake that struck eastern Afghanistan in June 2022, resulting in significant casualties and widespread destruction. The resilience of the Afghan people is once again tested as they grapple with the aftermath of this devastating natural disaster.